Here are some amazing facts about Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in South Western Uganda.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is situated in the misty valleys Kabale, Southwestern Uganda. It lies within the Albertine Rift and covers an area of 331 square kilometers.
Bwindi is mainly comprised of the montane and lowland forest and reachable on foot. The park lies between altitude 1160 and 2607 meters above sea level. It straddles within several steep slopes and valleys which make the Eastern edge of the Albertine Rift Valley. The park receives an average rainfall of about 1500mm and it is a major water catchment area, source of 5 main Rivers that flow into Lake Albert.
Important Park in Africa
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a UNESCO Heritage Site. In 1964, Bwindi was designated as an animal sanctuary mainly to offer protection to the critically endangered mountain gorillas and it was renamed Impenetrable Central Forest Reserve.
Bwindi features 120 mammal species including forest elephants, 360 species of birds;-23 of them are endemic to the Albertine Rift, 14 not recorded anywhere else in Uganda including the white tailed blue flycatcher, Brown necked parrot and Fraser’s eagle owl, the African green broad bill; Cream banded swallowtail, 1000 flowering plants, 163 tree species and 104 fern species.
It also offers refuge to 11 ape species including the wild chimpanzees, the rare mountain gorillas with about 400 individuals representing half of the world’s remaining gorillas, colobus monkeys, L’Hoests monkeys, Red tailed monkeys, vervet and many more. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is one of the only conservation areas in the world where chimpanzees and mountain gorillas share the same habitat.
Bwindi offers refuge to several butterflies about 200-eight (8) of which are endemic to the Albertine Rift, reptiles, giant frogs and moths.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park was designated as a national park in 1991 and in 1994, it was listed as UNESCO site due to its abundant ecological importance and a 10 kilometer area was added into the park. Bwindi is incomparably one of East Africa’s most exceptional protected areas and popular as one of Africa’s old habitats dating about 25000 years ago making it one of the biologically rich sites in Africa.
Great Tourism Destination
Bwindi is a great destination for primate safaris in Africa! Tourism in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park primarily depends on mountain gorilla trekking which occurs within the four main sectors which include the Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo sector. There are 11 habituated gorilla groups, 10 of which are set for gorilla tourism and one for research purposes in the park. They include Mubare, Rushegura, Bitukura, Habinyanja, Oruzogo, Nshongi, Nkuringo, Bweza, Mishaya, Kahungye, Busingye and the Kyaguriro for research. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park started in 1993 making it the main tourist attraction in the park.
If you are planning for your safari to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, make sure that you carry out adequate research on gorillas and their habituated groups. Besides gorilla trekking adventures, there is a newly introduced tourism product known as gorilla habituation experience which makes Bwindi the only tourist destination in the world with this unique adventure that offers visitors opportunity to spend all the four hours face to face with the apes in the wild.
Other activities in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park include the nature walks. After participating in gorilla trekking, you can also hit on any of 5 (five) distinct trails that range from half an hour to 8 hours as you head towards the Buhoma sector which provides you a chance to catch a glimpse of forest biodiversity especially primates, bird and many others. The trails include the Munyanga River trail, Muzubijiro loop trail, the Rushura trail, Bamboo trail that comes with 14 varied vegetation types, Ivy River trail and the water trail. Around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, you can also participate in Batwa cultural encounters where you will have the most thrilling cultural and traditional performances from the unique Batwa people-the famous forest dwellers of Bwindi who spent over 500000 years in the jungle while hunting, gathering and left without any negative environmental effect.
In conclusion, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is one of Uganda’s magnificent national parks. It offers refuge to the rare mountain gorillas that make up about 400 out of 900 individuals that still thrive on earth as well as several wildlife species including chimpanzees and other primates, endemic birds that make this park one of the best destinations in Africa.